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Notes: Vidro catches fire amid rumors

Notes: Vidro catches fire amid rumors

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ARLINGTON -- The hot rumor coming out of the All-Star break was the Mariners were on the verge of promoting outfielder Adam Jones from Triple-A Tacoma, putting him in left field, moving Raul Ibanez into the designated hitter position and demoting switch-hitting designated hitter Jose Vidro to the bench.

None of those things happened, which tells you a lot about goofy rumors.

"I never heard [former manager Mike Hargrove] talk about it, so I figured it was just something coming off a computer somewhere," manager John McLaren said Tuesday afternoon. "We're well aware of what Adam Jones is doing and how we feel about him.

"He's definitely in the future of the ballclub, but [his promotion] really hasn't been discussed that much."

Jones hit his 24th home run of the season Monday night during the opener of a doubleheader against Las Vegas, extending his hitting streak to six games (12-for-33). It's only a matter of time before the former first-round Draft choice becomes a fixture in the Mariners' lineup.

Meanwhile, Vidro keeps plodding along, contributing a hit or two almost every game he plays.

He has been Seattle's hottest hitter since the three-day midseason break, going 17-for-34, and would seem to have no reason to worry about job security.

"He has been real consistent for us all season and has been on fire since the break," McLaren said. "He's been as advertised ... very consistent from both sides of the plate, and he's a good presence in the clubhouse."

After going through a mild slump heading into the All-Star break -- 4-for-23 from July 1-8 -- Vidro returned to Seattle for a three-day breather and refocused.

"I used that time off to rest my legs and reflect on the first half. The break helped me and I'm feeling very good at the plate right now."

And the rumor of his impending demise?

"I didn't hear anything about it, didn't read about it, and I'm glad I didn't," he said. "That's out of my control. All I can do is play the game. If the organization decides to make a move, there's nothing I can do about it."

Vidro matched his single-game career high Monday night when he went 4-for-4 in Seattle's loss to the Rangers. He was out of the lineup for the first game of Tuesday night's doubleheader -- replaced at DH by Ichiro Suzuki -- but was scheduled to return to action in the nightcap.

Among the regulars, Vidro's .307 batting average ranks second on the team to Ichiro's .347 mark. And, as usual, Vidro has been solid from both sides of the plate. He's batting .315 from the right side and .305 from the left, which is par for the course -- he has a .300 career batting average batting left and right.

Trivia challenge: The Mariners started left-handers Horacio Ramirez, Ryan Feierabend and Jarrod Washburn in the first three games of the Rangers series. When was the last time Seattle started three consecutive lefties?

Let's play two: The Mariners played the 65th doubleheader in franchise history on Tuesday, and 50 of them have been on the road. Seattle has swept 12 of the twin bills, been swept 16 times and split the other 36.

Barring future rainouts, the Mariners will play one more doubleheader this season -- Sept. 26 against the Indians at Safeco Field. The first game will be the final makeup game of the four-game series that was snowed out in Cleveland during the first week of the regular season.

Kudos for Biggio: McLaren sung the praises of Astros legend Craig Biggio, who announced on Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the season.

"Here's a class guy who started out as a catcher, moved to second base, then to the outfield and back to second base and got hit by pitches a couple hundred times," said McLaren, a Houston native. "He had a Hall of Fame career."

McLaren, a former catcher, said the difficulty of moving from catcher to second base could be the most difficult switch in the game. Biggio not only made the transition but became an All-Star second baseman.

"I can't imagine going from one skill to another, totally different, the way he did," Mac added.

The answer is ...The last time three lefties started back-to-back-to-back was July 10-16, 1999, when John Halama, Jeff Fassero and Jamie Moyer combined to start four consecutive games, with the All-Star break in between.

On deck: The four-game series against the Rangers, and seven-game road trip, ends Wednesday night with Mariners right-hander Miguel Batista (10-7, 4.32) opposing Rangers right-hander Brandon McCarthy (4-7, 5.53) in a game that starts at 5:35 p.m. PT.

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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